Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
King Duncan as a Leader
Leadership is one of the most important qualities of a good king. Good leaders set themselves apart from others by being confident in their abilities and committed to their causes. Kings are thought to be strong and noble, capable of protecting an entire country of people. If a king is too kind and gentle, he might lose the respect of the people he is supposed to protect. Some might even envy his power and try to take it away. King Duncan, from William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, is a king who had the respect of the people of his country, but was murdered by a man who coveted his position as king.
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King Duncan is described as a kind and generous man who is respected by many of the people in Scotland. King Duncan puts the needs of his country above his own needs and tries to provide unity in the kingdom. After Macbeth is told by three witches that he would one day be king, his wife convinces him to murder King Duncan.
At the thought of murdering King Duncan, Macbeth states, 'hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been, so clear in his great office, that his virtues will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against, the deep damnation of his taking off' (Act 1, Scene 7). Macbeth feels King Duncan has been a good king who does not deserve to be murdered, although he has decided to do it anyway. King Duncan was happy about the success of Macbeth and Banquo, two generals who defeated two opposing armies. Duncan wanted to honor them for their hard work, but Macbeth chose to stab him several times instead.
King Duncan is a good king who lacks distrust of those around him. He is a generous man who wants the best for his kingdom. After he was told he would one day become king, General Macbeth desires to obtain the throne as soon as possible and murders the mild-mannered King Duncan.
This lesson on Macbeth should teach you to:
- Relate details about the characteristics of strong leaders
- Analyze the character of King Duncan
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King Duncan in Macbeth: Character Analysis, Murder & Quotes Quiz
Instructions: Choose an answer and click 'Next'. You will receive your score and answers at the end.
Why does Macbeth murder King Duncan in Macbeth?
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King Duncan in Macbeth: Character Analysis, Murder & Quotes
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